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TETRACHORDON.

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drew out a line of adultery almost two thousand yeares long: although to detect the prodigy of this surmise, the former booke set forth on this argument hath already beene copious. I shall not repeate much, though I might borrow of mine own; but shall endeavour to adde something either yet untoucht, or not largely anough explain'd. First it shal be manifest that the common exposition cannot possibly consist with christian doctrine: next, a truer meaning of this our Saviours reply shall be left in the roome. The receiv'd exposition is, that God though not approving did enact a law to permit adultery by divorcement simply unlawfull. And this conceit they feede with fond supposals that have not the least footing in Scripture: As that the Jews learnt this custome of divorce in Egypt, and therefore God would not unteach it them till Christ came, but let it stick as a notorious botch of deformity in the midst of his most perfect and severe law. And yet he saith, Levit. the 18th, after the doings of Egypt ye shall not do. Another while they invent a slander (as what thing more bold then teaching Ignorance when he shifts to hide his nakednes) that the Jews were naturally to their wives the cruellest men in the world; would poison, braine, and doe I know not what, if they might not divorce. Certain, if it were a fault heavily punisht, to bring an evill report upon the land which God gave, what is it to raise a groundles calumny against the people which God made choice of? But that this bold interpretament, how commonly so ever sided with, cannot stand a minute with any competent reverence to God or his law, or his people, nor with any other maxim of religion, or good manners, might bee prov'd through all the heads and Topics of argumentation: but I shall willingly bee as concise as possible. First the law, not onely the moral, but the judicial given by Moses is just and pure; for such is God who gave it. Hearken O Israel, saith Moses, Deut. 4. unto the statutes and the judgements which I teach you, to doe them, that ye may live, &c. ye shall not adde unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keepe the commandements of the Lord your God which I command you. And onward in the chapter, Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgements, even as the Lord my God commanded me. Keepe therefore and doe them, for this is your wisedom and your understanding. For what nation hath God so nigh unto them, and what nation hath statutes and judgements so righteous as all this law which I set before ye this day. Is it imaginable there should bee among these a law which God allow'd not, a law giving permissions laxative to unmarry a wife and marry a lust, a law to suffer a kind of tribunall adultery? Many

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